Most child stars never live up to their potentials. They burst on the scene full of big smiles and larger promises and then slowly fade away without ever having achieved their aims. Michael Jackson however surpassed even the wildest of expectations. He grew up in the public eye, matured in front of millions and somehow churned out album-after-album of quality material until his early death at the age of fifty. Today, on the third anniversary of that passing, fans paid tribute with more than a thousand roses, more than ten thousand tweets and millions of fond conversations.
Looking back, his career seems as if it happened in three distinct parts. The first was the smiley child from Gary, Indiana who captivated the world with his smooth vocals, easy performance style and rampant charisma. The second was the late teens/ early twenties pop star who came into his own during the late 70s/ early 80s, and the third was the strange, pale skin guy who continued writing awesome songs and weathered sensational tabloid reports almost daily.
Each of these periods has its own set of brilliant songs. The first includes “I’ll Be There”, “ABC”, “I Want You Back” and dozens more. The second includes “Thriller”, “Billie Jean”, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and hordes more. The third includes “Black Or White”, “Dirty Diana”, “Smooth Criminal” and everything else released on Bad and afterwards.
When I think about my favorite Jackson era, I have to go with the little kid with the smooth voice and oodles of unfulfilled potential. There’s nothing quite like watching footage of him performing with his brothers while sporting the type of smile a kid normally has after discovering a stash of candy. That’s the age I’ll always remember him at. The question is: at what age do you think MJ was at his best? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…
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Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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